Warner Bros.’ budding franchise starter Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them may take place a full 70 years before the birth of the Boy Who Lived, and it may feature an entirely new protagonist in the form of Eddie Redmayne’s wizarding prodigy Newt Scamander, but make no mistake, the prequel will still hue closely to its magical roots.
Not only did author J.K. Rowling lend her help to the film’s screenplay along with David Yates, but more recently executive producer David Heyman noted that out of all the Harry Potter movies to have been released, Fantastic Beasts resembles the fourth cinematic chapter, Goblet of Fire.
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For the uninitiated, Goblet of Fire featured Harry partaking in the prestigious Triwizard Tournament, pitting a handful of students from three different schools – Hogwarts included – against as many deadly challenges. And though that doesn’t necessarily mean that Redmayne will be put through his paces come 2016, Heyman is referencing the general themes of the fourth entry into Warner Bros.’ – and indeed Rowling’s – lucrative franchise, from the fish-out-of-water humor to the romantic-comedy beats that we see during the Yule Ball.
“Mike [Newell] talked about the fourth as being like an Indian musical — and it’s not that, but it’s got the humor of that film. It has the romantic comedy, that fish-out-of-water humor, that very human, natural character comedy… [Beasts] is very funny, it’s got a big heart, and there’s darkness too.”
Set primarily in New York City during the 1920s, previous reports have revealed that Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them will explore the American version of the wizarding community who are hiding in fear of the Muggles. Known as No-Maj across the pond, Redmayne’s brilliant Magizoologist enters a city that is decidedly wiz-phobic in Fantastic Beasts, which ought to make for a nice change of pace from the Harry Potter films that preceded it.
Targeting a November 18, 2016 release, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them will bring together Redmayne, Gemma Chan, Carmen Ejogo, Jon Voight, Katherine Waterston, Ezra Miller, Colin Farrell and Ron Perlman for a bout of 1920s wizarding action.